DOJ Dear Colleague Letter to Courts Regarding Fines and Fees for Youth and Adults

April 2023
By the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Office of Justice Programs, and Office for Access to Justice

This letter revises and updates a similar letter issued by the Department in March 2016 regarding the imposition and enforcement of fines and fees on adults in the criminal justice system, and a January 2017 advisory setting forth the constitutional and statutory responsibilities regarding imposing and enforcing fines and fees on youth involved in the juvenile or criminal justice systems.

The letter puts states on notice that requiring youth to pay fines and fees is bad policy and may violate the U.S. Constitution.